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Time-critical data delivery in wireless sensor networks

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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are now used for more than just basic delay tolerant data collection applications. WSNs are increasingly employed for complex process automation and control applications. In such scenarios, the WSN is part of a control loop, and predictable network performance, in terms of message transfer delay and reliability, is required. However, existing WSNs are designed to conserve energy and not to support timely data delivery. Thus, a new approach for building WSNs is necessary which takes strict performance requirements into consideration.

In this talk I will outline challenges we have to overcome in order to build efficient WSNs with predictable and stable network performance. Furthermore, I will detail solutions that enable us to overcome some of these challenges. To support time-critical data delivery in WSNs, new tools, protocols and software components are required. It must be possible to design a network such that it provides the required performance when deployed. Thus, tools are required that can support network planning. Software components are necessary that ensure timely processing. Communication protocols are needed that can provide stable performance in environments with fluctuating channel quality. Finally, tools for performance monitoring of a deployed network are required. These performance debugging tools are required to isolate faults in case deadlines are missed.

Short bio: Dr Utz Roedig is a Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, UK. He pursues research in the area of networked embedded systems and in the particular domain of WSNs. He is author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications in this research field. He was Conference and TPC Co-Chair for conferences and workshops such as EWSN 2009 and SenseApp 2007. He serves as TPC member for many leading sensor network conferences including EWSN , IPSN and SenSys. Dr Roedig is currently involved in the EU FP7 projects GINSENG and WISEBED . GINSENG investigates the deployment of time-critical WSNs. WISEBED aims to construct an infrastructure of interconnected WSN testbeds for research purposes.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Digital Technology Group (DTG) Meetings series.

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